NPR has teamed up with Pictory magazine to learn more about your local legends.
Tap into the history of your neighborhood and share a captioned image about what makes it special. What are the secrets that you have to live there to know? Maybe your local legend is related to a person (your neighborhood hero?) or maybe it’s a story as old as the neighborhood itself. Submit your photo on Pictory’s site.
Mildred Jewett, “Madaket Millie”: The protector of the western end of Nantucket Island, Madaket Mille watched for shipwrecks, cared for her animals, sold ice cream and was a gruff feature of the Nantucket landscape until her death in 1990.
There are many stories about Madaket Millie. She killed a 300-pound shark in Hither Creek; was a good friend of Mr. Fred Rogers; and was awarded by the U.S. Coast Guard its highest civilian rank, chief warrant officer W-4.
Life Cycle: I visit the Round Rock cemetery occasionally, to walk quietly between the stones and take in the history. It is probably best known for being the final resting place of the infamous bank robber Sam Bass and members of his gang. One day I came upon this marker and was instantly caught up in the emotion and mystery of the story it tells.
It is a double grave stone of a young mother, not quite 24 years old, who apparently died in childbirth, leaving her infant son motherless. Beside her rests her baby, who did not make it to his four-month birthday.
Ampelmannchen: It’s hard to believe that such a charming man once represented something so sinister in communist East Berlin, even though in 2010 he would greet me so cheerfully at every intersection. Ampelmann, as he was known, almost didn’t survive the fall of the Berlin Wall.
After the reunification of Germany, many changes were made to eradicate the imprint of 40 years of communism. In 1990, the West began to replace all pedestrian crossing lights with the standard symbols we know today. This led to a 1995 solidarity campaign to protect this very original symbol of East German culture.